Cancer-Based Radiotherapy
07 Dec

Arginine is an amino acid used to increase the efficiency of radiation therapy used for patients having brain metastases. Recently, the team from Weill Cornell Medicine and Angel H. Roffo Cancer Institute carried out a trial using arginine in order to prove its effectiveness when administered orally. The researchers stated that almost 78% of the patients experienced a partial or complete response in their tumors over the 4 years. The primary focus was to design arginine into effective radiosensitizer for further application in the radiotherapies. However, the mechanism of action and the previous studies on arginine recommend it to be broadly used as an anticancer agent.

The latest findings suggest the combination of arginine and radiotherapy/chemotherapy/immunotheraphy or arginine itself could help design a safe therapy. The researchers consider this amino acid to be a suitable source as it is cost-effective and could easily circulate through the bloodstream into the brain. As the tumors used high levels of nitric oxide (NO) molecules to survive, the researchers though of discovering or developing a new component to treat cancer. It is then that researchers found arginine to help regulate various processes in the body such as blood flow and upregulation of NO synthases to escalate the levels of NO to help tumor cells survive.

It is thus clear that controlling NO levels can help exploit tumor growth. Using arginine as a precursor to overload tumor cells with NO could help lower tumor cells ability to repair after radiation-induced DNA damage and thereby, confirm the amino acid effectiveness. The tumors in the brain or lungs could thus be killed using high-dose arginine before radiotherapy. The positive effect of arginine on metastatic cancer patients suggest that it could possibly be the next cure for tumor patients. The latest study proves that arginine can not only attack tumor cells but also enhance antitumor immune cell activity in the body.

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